Friday, January 31, 2020

The Washington Post just noticed that the Government Accountability Office has a Science and Technology Assessment and Analytics group, headed by Tim Persons, who told us all about it when this news was still new (Washington, D.C., Sep 2019).

The Wuhan coronavirus has spawned an unprecedented outbreak of global scientific collaboration. Within days, Chinese scientists had posted the virus’s genetic sequence to an open-access repository for genetic information, and researchers around the world, including several labs in the U.S., are feverishly working on better diagnostic tools and a vaccine. (Erica Ollmann Saphire, San Diego, Feb 2015)

… And it should come as no surprise that the first warnings of the virus were from a Toronto AI startup, BlueDot. (Richard Klomp, Philadelphia, Apr, 2006)

… nor that a hospital in Washington State is monitoring a quarantined coronavirus patient largely by robot. The protocols were modified from ones developed for treating Ebola patients.

Vermont may become the first state in the U.S.—but not the world—to allow emojis on license plates.

Better extreme-weather forecasting through supercomputing. (Jack Dongarra, San Francisco, Dec 2019)

When IEEE Spectrum wrote about the water–energy equation (it takes water to make energy; it takes energy to purify water; Dean Kamen Jersey City, Oct 2009), it probably didn’t have this in mind: Germans are protesting plans for a new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin, voicing concerns about risks to the local water supply.

A British design firm has come up with the perfect rideshare design. (Adrian and Clara Westaway, Berkeley, Mar 2019)

Whenever AI enters a process, it seems there will be people figuring out how to game it. The latest: careers consultants advising job applicants in South Korea, where the hiring process is increasingly being handed over to AI-based algorithms that use facial recognition technology to analyze character. (Julia Ancis, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017)

Then there’s the cat-and-mouse game of locking down iPhones, and new techniques for cracking them. (David Chaum, San Francisco, Dec 2016; Jon Callas, London, Jul 2014; Whit Diffie, Palm Springs, Feb 1995)

California’s secretary of state has approved Los Angeles County’s new and untested home-grown computerized voting system. At our March meeting (Seattle, March 2–4, registrationagenda), Rich DeMillo will explain why he’s concerned about it and about a number of other voting systems around the country, including that of his home state of Georgia.

Now it looks like at least mid-year before the skies are once again blessed with Boeing’s 737 MAX planes.

Did the government of Saudi Arabia hack Jeff Bezos’s cellphone in 2018? (Vincent Weafer, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017)

We note with sadness the passing of Mr. Innovator’s Dilemma: Harvard’s Clayton Christensen passed away last week at 67. He spoke to TTI/V about disruptive innovation two decades ago (Miami, Feb 1999).

A recent article in Medium argues there is no such thing as “Ethical AI.” Emmanuel Moss,  a researcher at Data & Society, will have a lot to say about this nonexistent thing at our June meeting (Ubiquitous AI, Brooklyn, June 9–10).

The ultimate composting? A new Rice University process turns any carbon-based material, from plastic bottles to banana peels, into graphene flakes. Perhaps they’ll find their way into Subhasish Mitra’s ideal next-generation chip (San Francisco, Dec 2015) or Qing Cao’s (San Francisco, Dec 2016).

It's easier to hold your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold them 98 percent of the time. 
Clay Christensen

Author: Steven Cherry

Director of TTI/Vanguard, “a unique forum for senior-level executives that links strategic technology planning to business success. In private conferences that are part classroom, part think-tank, and part laboratory, its members—corporate and government leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and academics—explore emerging and potentially disruptive technologies.”

Twenty years experience as a technology journalist and editor, at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Founded the award-winning podcast series, Techwise Conversations covering tech news, tech careers and education, and the engineering lifestyle. Teaches an intensive writing class as an adjunct instructor at NYU. Previously taught essay writing and creative writing at The College of New Rochelle.

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